Monday, August 30, 2010

Mealtime Mondays

Monday- Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken and eggrolls

Tuesday- Sloppy Joes and Mixed Veggies

Wednesday- Sesame Salmon and Wild Rice (Didn't eat it last week)

Thursday- Aunt Kathi's Famous Taco Salad

Friday- Buffalo Grilled Tenders, potato wedges, coleslaw

Recipe of the week: Aunt Kathi's Taco Salad
1 lb ground beef- cooked and drained
2 cans chili hot beans, one drained, one not
shredded lettuce
1 cup diced tomatoes (can use more if you really like tomatoes)
1 bottle Ken's Cheesy Italian Dressing (use almost all of it)
1 bag (2 cups) cheddar cheese
1 bag of Doritos- crushed
(Hot sauce to taste)

1. Mix ground beef, both cans of chili beans, tomatoes, cheese, and dressing.
2. Add lettuce (mix throughout) before serving, if you put it in earlier, it can wilt, then it's gross.
3. Serve over some crunched up Doritos and enjoy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." -Mahatma Gandhi

Not much needs to be added to this, however, I will make one point. If forgiveness is for the strong, then it obviously isn't easy. But, since we are renewed in our strength through Christ, we have the ability to forgive. Christ will strengthen us and help us forgive. For me, forgiveness is instantaneous. If someone wrongs me, I forgive and forget. I've always been that way. (Not that I'm perfect, I struggle in many other areas, but forgiveness isn't one of them.) God has forgiven our sins, and we are required to forgive others. It's not an option, and it's not our responsibility to make sure that these "horrible" people are held accountable for their wrong doings. It's a sin to continue on babbling and gossipping about it to other people, coloring the "horrible" person in a shady light to others. God doesn't hold our wrongs against us, and we need to follow suit.
Now, I will say, that part of me wishes that I would be able to hold onto grudges and remember all the wrong doings of others. It would be nicer in a fight to be able to pull all the crap up and shove it in their face, but my mind doesn't work that way. There have been soooo many arguments in our marriage that I wish I could remember when he said or did x,y,or z to help make my point... but I never can remember. So, I pretty much always lose our fights. But, it's okay. I'm not one for arguing anyway. I'll let the rest of the world spend their days holding grudges, fighting, causing division, shaming the name of Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. I'll just sit back, thankfully oblivious about why any of it started and love and raise my family and husband with Christ's help .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pea is getting so big!

We've enrolled Pea in preschool! The curriculum we purchased about a year ago for preschool just wasn't all that it cracked up to be. Basically, it was just reading stories.... not enough to be called "preschool" for me. When I think of preschool, I think of handwriting, learning the phonics basics, Bible lessons and stories, projects, crafts, thematic units, etc. This curriculum had NONE of that. So, while we were going through the curriculum, I spent a lot of time supplementing and creating my own activities to go along with the curriculum. The hard part wasn't just all of the time spent on the prep-work, thinking, planning, material collecting, etc., the hard part was that there didn't seem to be a connecting theme/thought/idea for each day or week of the curriculum. So, I scrambled to make things flow together, it wasn't seamless, but it worked okay. So, now that we're (finally!) done with the curriculum, the hubs and I have decided to send Pea to preschool two, 1/2 days a week. It's only about 5 hours a week, but she is very, very excited!!! Everytime we leave the house, she requests to drive by her school so she can look at it and talk about the playground or her classroom. I'm so excited that she is this energetic about school!
Also, in addition to preschool, DH and I have decided that we are going to "co-teach" Pea throughout the week as she asks. Having the hubs involved will be so important, because come this spring, I won't be doing much school with Pea, so it'll be good for her to be used to doing school with daddy. The plan (As of right now) is to use the theme of the week at her new preschool and extend it at home. I'm very excited to not have to do so much of the thinking and planning, but, on the other hand, it has been very fun to be teaching again. I miss it so much! Maybe after this babe is here and grown somewhat, we'll try the homeschooling thing again. Pea has loved it, and it's been so wonderful to have time focused directly on each child during the day. Grunt and I have been working on body parts and speech, in general. He loves the time, but who knows what he's really learning, lol.
Pea has a countdown until school starts... it's coming so soon!!! Sept 7! Pics to come of her first day of school outfit and her new bookbag :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mealtime Mondays!!!!

So far posting my menu has helped me stick to it, so here we go again!

Monday- Hubs at banquet (Spouses not invited, poo on the hospital!) So, breakfast for dinner.

Tuesday- MNO for me! El Vaqueros... time for a virgin mango margarita!!!

Wednesday- Asain Sesame Salmon with salad

Thursday- Zucchini Lasagna and cheesy breadsticks

Friday- Hungarian Goulash with homemade egg noodles and green beans

Saturday- Leftovers and Dining Out

I also thought that I would put up a recipe each week for my favorite meal. So, this week it's Hungarian Goulash. My hub's favorite meal, and it's high up there on my list. Plus, it's cheap and easy!

2lbs cube steak/stew meat/round steak
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper
2 cups water

2 tbsp flour and 1/4 cup water for gravy

1. Cook meat, garlic, and onion in butter/shortening until meat is no longer pink.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (Except for gravy ingredients) to crock pot and mix well.
3. Add meat mixture to crock pot and mix.
4. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 4-6 hours (I cook until meat is tender).
5. Once cooked, mix flour and water for gravy and add to crockpot. mix well.
6. It's ready! Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. YUMM-O!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We finally had a break in the heat of the summer, and decided to take advantage of it by taking a family trip to the zoo. We made it through North America (had to see the polar bears), the aquarium/manatee area, flamingos, and the crocodiles. Then, Grunt lost it and we headed home. Here are some pics!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Baby #3

We seem to be really good at having babies.... so we're just going to keep going :) #3 will be joining us in March! Poor Grunt- the odd one out-- the only babe not born in March. We love him anyway. Here are some pics of the new babe.

The ultrasound went great. We got to see the baby move (neither of the other 2 moved during this early ultrasound), and were able to see arms and legs already! Doc says that the baby looks great! Thank you God for your blessings!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mealtime Mondays!

I'm going to try something new. Here's to hoping that it helps me stay accountable to my "grocery budget" and my menu. I'm going to post our weekly menu (probably only dinners, unless something amazing happens to pop up!) on Mondays. Maybe it'll give you a couple new ideas, or maybe it'll show me how unoriginal I am with our meals :).

Here's this week!
Monday- Marinated turkey loin, roasted potatoes with red pepper flakes, sauteed zucchini and squash
Tuesday- Stuffed Green Peppers, leftover roasted potatoes- smashed, berry crisp
Wednesday- Sun-dried tomato marinated chicken, wild rice, salad
Thursday- beef burritos, lime tortilla chips with cheese dip and salsa, (if I remember, I'm planning on having virgin mango margaritas today too!!!!)
Friday- leftovers. If no leftovers, then lil'smokeys in bbq sauce and cheese cubes or other munchies in the fridge that need to be eaten.
Saturday- Breakfast- egg and sausage casserole with fruit salad; lunch/dinner- roast with tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I had one of those moments.....

So, the other day, I had one of "those" moments. One of those moments of clarity. One of the moments where you say, "oh... duh.... I get it now!" And (gasp!) one of those moments where I look back on my childhood and say, "oh, I get it now. I understand why Mom and Dad discouraged x,y,z". So, here's the epiphany...

"Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil-- the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live this way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature." (Ephesians 2:1-3a, New Living Translation)

This is why my parents were always on my case about knowing my friends, making sure I didn't date non-believers, making sure I had church friends, etc. It didn't click until the other day (yea... 15 years later!) that non-believers are controlled by the devil! What better way to get a follower of Christ to sin and fall away than to be a nice unbeliever, who befriends a Christian, only to slowly infiltrate the Christian's mind and heart with things of the world? Wow! What a scheme! What a genius plan! It is sooooo easy to think that you will be strong enough, or that you can stand for what is right. And, in a lot of cases, I'm sure that most Christians are; but, it's the little things, the tiny compromises that you make with the world that add up eventually, and all of a sudden you are drowning in sin and you don't know how you got that far away from what you believe.

The song, Slow Fade, by Casting Crowns is a great example of this. Every time I hear this song, I end up crying. It is so true! Here are some of the lyrics: (just to to to hear the song)

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away

It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

I know it sounds harsh to say that all people who aren't following Christ are controlled by the devil, but Scripture is very clear about it! Unless you have a relationship with Christ, you are open to the schemes of the devil and follow your own selfish desires. Wow. We need to make sure that we protect and prepare ourselves and our families for this! I think so many Christians focus on being "in the world" without properly preparing their hearts and minds for the battle we face every day when we open our eyes in the morning. Now, of course we need to be in the world to be able to evangelize, but that doesn't come without risks. We need to make sure that we put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) to be able to properly protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil. Because, believe me, he is scheming... he wants you, me, and everyone else to believe his lies and to fall away from Christ, one compromise at a time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This is the time....

"In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word, be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, and encourage -- with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears what to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist..." 2 Timothy 4:1-4

There have been so many issues come up lately in the news and among my friends that have shocked me to the core. I do not understand so much of what is going on... why someone would turn from what they know is Truth, to follow what they desire. Why someone would twist the Word of God to make their sins allowable. Why someone who grew up in church, who was rooted in the Word, all of a sudden believes in everything but the Word. But, God knew all along.... He knew this was how we were going to destroy ourselves and destroy the precious gift of salvation that he gave us.

Now, don't get me wrong, we all sin, and we all struggle, but what I don't understand is how you can live a lifestyle that is completely against the Word, and not have any guilt or any problem with it. (When I sin, or when I'm struggling with something, I KNOW it's wrong! It eats me up! I can't handle the guilt!) I don't understand how Christians can stop trying to be better people, to be more godly people, to be more like Christ. How do Christians hate other people with one sentence, then in the next preach the love of Christ. How is it so many "Christians" have decided that they have the power to forgive or not to forgive, to judge or to hold a grudge. Who gave them this authority? It's surely not from Christ! Why, on any level, would someone who follows Christ decide that they are above Christ's rules or his grace? No wonder no one wants to be a Christian, no wonder everyone thinks we're a bunch of crazy hypocritical haters. Because so many people who call themselves Christians ARE!!!

We've forgotten to be real, to be honest, to share our stories, to share our struggles, to share God's grace in our lives! We've forgotten (or are too embarrassed) to share our sins and our forgiveness with our neighbor. We make ourselves out to be so perfect, and others to be soooo horrible that we are creating a breakdown in relationships, we are increasing the void between us and non-believers. We are supposed to be fostering relationships, showing how amazing God is and how we need Him! We have to start doing our job in preaching the Truth, or the false doctrine is going to completely outshadow the Gospel.

2 Peter 2- also has a lot to say on this... it's an amazing charge to get going with evangelizing! We MUST share the love of Christ, then make disciples! WE MUST! Their lives depend on it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Does It Make Me A Bad Christian????

Does it make me a bad person, or even a bad Christian, if I believe that God doesn't care about every thing in our life? And... gasp... even worse... I don't believe that everything happens for a reason? Honestly, I don't even believe that God has His hand in everything in the world?? Let me take these one by one.

1. I do not believe that God cares about every thing in our life. I mean, really, does God really care about my decision to wear brown (vs. black) flip flops today? Does he care whether I give Mathias carrots or sweet potatoes for lunch? I believe God has WAAAAAY more important things to deal with than to care about the trivial, non-important things in our day. Now, this is not to say that He won't listen to you talk to Him about your flip flops, but, I don't think that while you are choosing them, he really really wants you to choose the brown ones. God cares about us, and He cares about what we care about. But, some things are just placed on the earth (by God) for our enjoyment. He gave us different personalities and different tastes, and he wants us to enjoy and express them- but that doesn't mean that it is of utmost importance to him. It isn't a spiritual matter, it isn't an eternal matter. Really... it isn't even a "matter" at all. It's just a choice, and we make a thousand of them every day that have no baring at all on our spiritual lives.

2. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. Some things just happen. We set a course by our decisions, and things happen, and God doesn't limit our free-will, therefore, he won't limit the consequences. I'm not saying that He can't, or doesn't in some circumstances.... I'm just saying that He doesn't on EVERYTHING. It's part of living in a sinful and fallen world. People do things, and horrible things (or even good things) happen. Now, Scripture says that, "Every good and perfect gift is from above." I believe that this is true... but that doesn't mean that God specifically made that good thing happen. All good things come from the author of good... the creator of good... they come from "Good" Himself. So, of course we can credit God with all good- because He is the only true good in the world. But, on the other hand, I do not believe that Satan can be credited with every horrible thing that happens. I think that he would love to take credit for all of it- it is of course his mission to make everything horrible and to kill and maim all that is good in the world- but, some things just happen. We make stupid choices, and within that free will, horrible things happen... we are fragile humans, our life can be gone in the blink of an eye. For example, I do not think that a child dying happens for a reason. Now, are there positive outcomes and lessons learned from that horrible event- of course, and that is God showing his supremacy above all events in heaven and on earth. He can use any and all events to bring people closer to Him and to show His power and His love. But, I don't think God needs to use a child's death to show himself. He already showed himself through the death of His Son, He doesn't need anyone else to die to make Himself known. In fact, He doesn't "need" any human event to make His will done or known- He can (just by snapping His fingers (I imagine)) do whatever he wants, make himself known and show everyone that He is God.

3. I do not believe that God has His hand controlling/meddling in everything in the world. Now, hear me on this one- I'm not limiting God- He can do whatever He wants, however He wants, whenever He wants. If He wanted to be in everything all at once, He could. I believe that He isn't. Think of the people who do not believe in God, and they decide to go and smash a plane into a tall building and kill thousands of people. What about people who go on crazy shooting sprees? Do I think that God was controlling that act? No, I think that God let these people make their own bad decision, and then reap the consequences. Now, is God's hand clearly shown in the aftermath- ABSOLUTELY! But, I do not think that God was controlling that incident. He let it happen, but was there to give peace to the believers, and to protect some. Am I making sense? Or am I just rambling? What kind of God would He be if he controlled everything in the world? What good would our relationship with Him be? How would it be authentic? He would have no reason to have a relationship with us if He was going to control everything in the world all the time. We wouldn't even have a choice of whether to follow Him or not. He didn't create us to be minions, He created us because He wanted to have a relationship with us, and because He loved us. Think about it: If you chose everything for your child, even choosing that they will love you, how would that be genuine? God doesn't control everything in the world. Not that He can't, but He doesn't. He created free-will, and we have to deal with it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Silly Pea

A couple of cute things Pea said lately :)

Me- "Pea, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Pea- "I want to be a soccer player when I grow up! I want to be the player who gets to pick all the pretty flowers! I'll make our team a beautiful flower trophy!"


Pea- (to Nathaniel) "Daddy, where are you going with Mommy?"
Nathaniel- "I'm going to take Mommy out somewhere nice for dinner."
Pea- "OOOHHHHH, Like McDonalds???"
Nathaniel- "No, somewhere even nicer than McDonalds."
Pea- "Like Wendy's? Wendy's is much nicer than McDonalds. Mommy loved Wendy's."

Haha... Kind of funny that even a 3 year old knows that mcd's is the lowest of the low, lol.